Living with a Cancer Diagnosis Amid the Pandemic

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Living With a Cancer Diagnosis Amid the Pandemic from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Empowered patients, Honora Miller and Barry Marcus, share what it has been like living through a pandemic while being immunocompromised because of their multiple myeloma diagnosis.


Barry Marcus:

I have really never hesitated from telling people that I have cancer and I’m immunocompromised and it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to get together with them and people understand that. They know what kind of times were in so I feel like I haven’t really put myself at risk, I have gone out to dinner a few times at restaurants that have outdoor seating, which is now pretty common in my area, and I’m also very fortunate to have gotten both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, so the interesting part of that is going to be whether I’m going to change my behavior because of that, I know I will continue to wear a mask, always when I go outside even though I’m now vaccinated.

Honora Miller:

Yeah, I have found it interesting actually, among a group of my friends, we meet via Zoom every Wednesday, and it’s been interesting to see over the course of the year that we’re now in this. They certainly know that I am compromised, but they forget, and so, of course, I’ve been directed very clearly that I need to do as much sheltering in place as possible to not go grocery shopping, to have things delivered, or my husband often goes grocery shopping and to really…you know, I can’t go to the gym. The gym has been opened a couple of times during this process, it opens and closes, but I can’t go to the gym, I need to do my exercise differently, I can’t go swimming, so there have definitely been changes and I have taken extra care because I’ve really been told in no uncertain terms that I need to. I’m a little anxious about when my son, who I have a high school student, he’s been having remote school when he goes back to school, if I haven’t been vaccinated yet, I’ve been told that I will need to quarantine from him, so we’re hoping that everything will coincide so that I don’t need to do that.

It requires ongoing planning, and I do have friends who have just spent ski week up and Tahoe, and they invited me to come and I can’t come. It’s not something I can do now, and I feel clear in my mind that this is a period of time where I need to not do things so that I can tell the tale later on, and what this experience was like Once COVID is over ’cause it will be.

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